Central Coast Half Marathon

Category: Road Events

After running the Fernleigh 15 in late October, I thought it would be good to run one last race for the year before things got too hot and too close to Christmas to be bothered!  I've looked at this race for the last couple years and thought it would be worth giving it a go so this was the perfect excuse.


I dragged myself out of bed at 4am and punched a couple shots of coffee down and burned up some toast—not before taking the fire alarm down as that wouldn't be too pleasant at 4am!


Driving down the coast to The Entrance, the weather looked a little grubby and overcast, which was perfectly fine for a running event.  We've had a few days lately in the high 30's, so low 20's were perfect.  I arrived at the event around 6am, which was an hour before the start time.  There was still plenty of parking for another 10-15 minutes so this worked out well.


I walked over and grabbed my race kit, then had a little walk along the water before doing some stretches and getting changed into my race gear.  Soon enough the race director announced the runners' briefing and we headed for the start line.  It was only a few short minutes before the starter's gun fired and we were under way.


The course started under The Entrance bridge and headed west onto the bike path and then basically followed this path the entire course in and out–and–back fashion.


There was less than a thousand runners on the course but due to the path being quite small the congestion was pretty bad.  For the first time in my 5 years of running events, I had a couple incredibly rude runners who got a shoulder in front of me and then completely cut me off, almost tripping me over.  I swore at one person for doing this and apparently it was my fault—unbelievable...  A few hundred metres later I saw this happen again, only this time a poor girl was actually tripped over and looked fairly hurt.  These runners simply didn't give a toss about anyone else and thought they had right of way, no matter what.  Too bad they weren't nearly fast enough to warrant this kind of ego, but alas, I digress...


Passing the 5km mark I started to settle in and enjoy the run.  It was interesting the number of old people who were in this event.  I have never noticed it before but these oldies were incredibly fit and lean!  Good to see.  Approaching the halfway mark, a small walkway bridge approached and things soon turned ugly...


As I took my first step onto the bridge, I was soon flying through the air in a motion that would have made Super Man jealous!  I landed hard on my hands but thankfully, I was able to save my face from being used as a brake.  I turned around to see that I had completely torn a plank out of the bridge, which I can only assume happened by a runner stepping on the opposite end and the plank jumped up and caught my feet.  Hobbling off I realised I had twisted my right knee a little and my right glut was pretty sore.  Keep going, I thought, and just see how things go.


Pressing on past halfway I was pretty sore.  I slowed to a high 5 minute pace which seemed to work OK.  Approaching the 15km mark the soreness wore off a little and things got slightly easier.  I now just had 6kms to go and I was home.


For the final 6kms I just kept my head up and kept putting one foot in front of the other.  The weather was still quite grubby and windy so there wasn't a whole lot to look at or take in.  Soon enough I was off the bike path and back onto the road with only a few hundred metres to go.  It's no surprise I was quite happy to see the end of this race.  I soon grabbed my finisher's medal, a bottle of water and headed for the car.


I soon had my shoes off and got out of my sweaty running gear.  It was time to head home, hit the couch and put this knee up.  I'll see how it goes over the next few days, hopefully it comes good and it's nothing to worry about.


Not sure if I will run this event again next year but I think I will just wait until next year comes around and decide then.


Race day stats:

Distance: 21.1 km
Time: 1:53:43
Avg Pace: 5:23 min/km
Elevation Gain: 56 m
Calories: 1,832 C